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Posts Tagged ‘boys soccer’

Nick Guay applies some hands-on defense. (Morgan White photos)

Fear the Wilson boys.

With big bro Aidan netting a hat trick, and younger sibling Cael playing lights-out in the net, the Coupeville High School boys soccer team stunned the world Friday.

Facing off with visiting Friday Harbor, a state title contender which had just upended the actual defending state champs, the Wolves never backed down, claiming a 3-1 win at Mickey Clark Field.

The victory lifts Coupeville to 2-2 on the season heading into a showdown with Orcas Island, which brought home the shiniest trophy from last year’s 2B/1B state tourney.

Friday Harbor handed the Vikings a loss earlier in the week, ending a home-winning streak for Orcas which had reached five years.

So, when the Wolverines arrived on Whidbey Island, they were heavy favorites.

I’m just saying, even the hardiest of Coupeville fans weren’t likely to be hanging out down below the bleachers laying bets on the hometown pitch heroes.

But if they had … jackpot.

Coupeville came out aggressive and never backed down, contesting every shot and fighting for every 50/50 ball.

Wolf goalie Cael Wilson, stalking the pitch, the muted prairie sunshine reflecting off of his glasses, transformed before our eyes.

Suddenly he was Coupeville’s answer to Jan Oblak (thank you Google search…), a towering titan in the net, deflecting everything Friday Harbor sent his way.

Wilson punched a shot away with his right arm, dropped to his knees to make a two-handed block at point-blank range, and even shot high into the air to spear away another incoming missile.

On the sideline, CHS girls soccer guru Kyle Nelson, subbing for Wolf boys coach Robert Wood, who was out of town on business, nodded ever so slightly in approval.

Exactly the way the combined Coupeville pitch brain trust planned it.

If you looked at shots on goal, Friday Harbor had a huge advantage in the first half, and yet the scoreboard at the break reflected that score most beloved of soccer fanatics.

Zero to zero. Nil-nil, as they say in the soccer hotbeds.

Or so I’ve been told.

That was soon corrected, however, as Cael’s older brother decided to help out the family cause.

Aidan Wilson, on the rampage.

Rampaging down the left side of the pitch on a long run, Aidan Wilson lured the netminder in, before ripping a rocket into the top left of the net.

Cue the bedlam from the stands and his teammates.

Cue another small nod from Kyle Nelson, a master of keeping his composure in the glare of the spotlight.

And likely cue bedlam from Robert Wood, on the road but undoubtedly still grooving on his team’s success.

Friday Harbor is a top-notch team however, and you keep peppering any goalie with enough shots, one is going to go in at some point.

The tying score came courtesy Adam Strasbourger, who climbed to the heavens and sacrificed his noggin, using his head to knock the ball just wide of Cael Wilson’s outstretched arms.

The momentum could have shifted. Probably should have shifted.

But it didn’t.

Instead, Coupeville dug in, with the combined efforts of Cole White, Grant Steller, Matthew Ward, and Co. frustrating Friday Harbor’s offense time and again.

The Wolves caught a break when Aidan Wilson was awarded a penalty kick after a wild scrum, and the Wolf senior rattled home his second goal of the night with less than 14 minutes remaining on the clock.

Friday Harbor could not buy a break in the waning moments, missing twice from inches away on the same play.

A laser blast caught an updraft at the last second and slammed off the crossbar, only to rebound right to a Wolverine player.

But when his header put-back went wide left by a hair, Coupeville fans started to breathe again. At least a bit.

Aidan Wilson finally sealed the deal in stoppage time, sprinting down the left side and completing his second-half hat trick to push the lead out to 3-1.

In the aftermath of the win, his teammates carried Cael Wilson off the field while Coupeville Superintendent Steve King, a Friday Harbor alum, tried to walk the tight rope gracefully.

“I’ll file this one away,” he said with a smile. “Might have to bring this up at Thanksgiving and Christmas. Maybe. Never know.”

For Nelson, who will find himself on a bus headed to Forks Saturday with the Wolf girls, the moment was huge.

“A great win for the guys,” he said.

“That’s the best team in this league, and this should be a really great confidence booster.”

Wolf goalie Cael Wilson (in neon shirt) is mobbed after he shut down the Northwest 2B/1B League’s best team.

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Grant Steller and associates vie on the soccer pitch. (Morgan White photo)

Soccer, forever trying to confuse me.

If it’s not the mind-melting offside rule or the love of an 80-minute game ending in a scoreless tie, it’s the scheduling.

As in, while all of the games played by the Coupeville High School boy soccer squad this season are against fellow Northwest 2B/1B League schools, not all of them will count in the standings that way.

The Wolves have scrapped with Mount Vernon Christian, Cedar Park Christian-Lynnwood, and La Conner, winning the middle of those tilts.

And coming up next are home bouts with the top two NWL squads, Friday Harbor and defending state champion Orcas Island.

But, when that’s all said and done, while CHS will have five games in the win-loss column, none of them will have counted as league contests.

Instead, the final eight games of the regular season between Oct. 4-27, with one clash against each of the other eight schools to play boys soccer in the NWL, will be the “official” league games.

That stretch, and only that stretch, determines playoff seeding.

The quirk is a product of the fact the NWL picks up four outside schools — Lopez Island, Grace Academy, CPC, and Providence Classical Christian — for boys soccer, and boys soccer alone.

Those schools join Coupeville, MVC, Friday Harbor, Orcas Island, and La Conner, while NWL charter members Concrete and Darrington don’t field teams.

Having eight league rivals makes it nearly impossible to play each school twice.

NWL girls soccer, by contrast, has just four schools active in the sport — Coupeville, La Conner, MVC, and Friday Harbor, so six home-and-away league clashes are easy-peasy to schedule.

Orcas, Darrington, and Concrete don’t have female booters, and the league doesn’t import any outside girls squads to pad its numbers.

Technically, Lopez Island considers its soccer team co-ed, so Coupeville’s boys have faced an occasional girl during previous games.

In the end, Coupeville’s boys have a 13-game schedule, play the same team twice five times, but count only the last eight as league contests.

It also means when Friday Harbor KO’d Orcas earlier this week, handing the Viking boys their first home loss in five years, it didn’t have any impact on postseason seeding.

Their Oct. 11 rematch, however, could go a long way to deciding a league title.

In the end, Coupeville pitch guru Robert Wood looks at the whole affair with a bemused smile and a chuckle.

“Not sure why … don’t care either … that’s an administrative thing and I HATE admin work.”

And then he went back to describing the beauty of a scoreless tie.

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Grant Steller (right) comes in ready for battle as La Conner’s goaltender denies the Wolf attack. (Morgan White photos)

The pitch was alive with the sound of clicks.

Coupeville and La Conner waged a boys soccer rumble Tuesday which finished with a wild, and somewhat controversial, game-changing call in overtime.

But this story is not about that, as we instead use this space to focus on pics from the camera of Wolf mom Morgan White.

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Coupeville’s booters are headed home, with their next two games on their home turf. (Morgan White photo)

Some days the soccer gods are especially cruel.

For the Coupeville High School boys pitch squad, Tuesday was one of those days.

Playing with a short roster, the Wolves scrapped and fought with host La Conner, taking a scoreless game into overtime, only to be punched in the heart by a ref’s interpretation of the rule book.

Was it the right call? Possibly.

But it still hurts, and still helped send the Wolves to a 1-0 loss in a league contest.

With the narrow defeat, Coupeville slips to 1-2 in Northwest 2B/1B League play, with its next two games at home.

Those contests, set for Sept. 23 and 27, come against two of the most-dangerous teams in the region, however, with Friday Harbor and Orcas Island up next on the schedule.

The latter of those teams is the defending 2B/1B state champ, while the former claimed 4th place at last year’s big dance.

Tuesday’s torrid tilt at La Conner’s Jack Whittaker Field came down to a penalty kick in the first extra period.

The Braves were awarded the one-on-one shot after the ref determined Coupeville’s goaltender had “interfered” with La Conner’s shooter, inadvertently or not.

“Controversial call indeed,” said CHS coach Robert Wood.

“The keeper got the foul on a 50/50 ball with their attacker, where only if you are well-versed in the laws of the game will you understand the call.”

While he would have preferred to take a victory to the bus for the jaunt back to Whidbey, Wood came away pleased with the effort given by his team, which was not at full force.

“Excellent play by everyone on our 13-man roster for this game,” he said. “It’ll be really good to have our full team one of these days.”

Coupeville gets another crack at La Conner before the regular season is done, with the Braves set to visit The Rock Oct. 25 as the Wolves celebrate Senior Night.

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Birthday boy Bobby Carr leads off a collection of CHS coach pics. (Photos by JohnsPhotos.net)

Nine out of 11 ain’t bad.

We’re kicking off a new week with a photographic look at Coupeville High School coaches, though we’re missing two.

That’s because I already used soccer guru Kyle Nelson’s pic earlier this season.

And, for whatever reason, I’ve never seen head shots for this year’s Wolf cross country squad, which rules out trail queen Paige Spangler.

At least for now.

But the other nine coaches, covering volleyball, cheer, football, and boys soccer, are here, and awaiting — in alphabetic order — your perusal.

Brett Casey

Tara Crouch

Ashley Menges

Jennifer Morrell

Bennett Richter

Alex Turner

Cory Whitmore

Robert Wood

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